Turkey Detains 12 Suspected of Aiding Al-Qaida

Turkish security officials say police have detained 12 people suspected of providing support to al-Qaida militants fighting NATO forces in Afghanistan.Police officials said Tuesday they carried out simultaneous operations in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, and eastern Van province. Turkey’s Anatolia news service reported police uncovered weapons and bomb-making materials.Last week, police arrested five men in several Turkish cities on similar grounds. Four were accused of fundraising for al-Qaida and a fifth is suspected of designing computer programs to jam the controls of drone aircraft.

Reuters news agency reports that the four suspected of fundraising have since been released pending trial.Turkey has been alert to al-Qaida since homegrown Islamic militants tied to al-Qaida carried out suicide bombings in Istanbul in 2003, killing 58 people.In July, Turkish police detained 29 people suspected of links to al-Qaida, and in January, police rounded up another 120 people – Voanews